By Keith Searfoss, Director of Chaplain Services, Chaplain/Spiritual Councelor
If you meet one of our staff, you may notice that some of our business cards say “Please ask me how we support our Veterans.” What does this mean for the hospice patient and their family? What do we offer them?
I hope the following post will help answer these questions:
Benefits of the WHV program:
- Identification and recognition of the patient’s veteran status
- A personalized plan of care for any veterans needs
- An educated and compassionate staff that:
- Helps identify veterans benefits while living, if desired
- Assists with educating families about veteran death benefits
- Connecting veterans and families with VA facilities in the community
- Will learn about their military experience and how it may influence their health and/or quality of life
Below are general health risks categorized by wartime (this list is not limited and could expand):
WWII: Infectious diseases, wounds, frostbite/cold injuries, exposure to mustard gas, exposure to nuclear weapons and cleanup
Cold War: Leukemia, cancer, cataracts, nuclear testing and cleanup
Korean War: Cold injuries, chemical warfare, nuclear exposure, trench foot
Vietnam War: Mental health, PTSD, depression, substance abuse, Hepatitus C, Agent Orange, and a continuing list of symptoms
Gulf War: Exposure to toxic agents, exposure to environmental hazards, preventative vaccines and medications received, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, chemical sensitivity, PTSD, anxiety, depression, and substrance abuse.
Operation Iraqi Freedom: infectious disease, cold injury, high altitude illness, exposure to sewage, exposure to contaminated water and food, exposure to sand and dust storms, blunt force trauma/concussions, burn injuries, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and traumatic amputation.
- Cold injuries may have long term and delayed sequelae; peripheral neuropathy, skin cancer associated with frostbite scars, arthritis, fallen arches, stiff toes, nocturnal pain, and more.
- Agent Orange Exposure associated diseases: lung cancer, prostate cancer, Hodgkin’s/Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, sarcomas, multiple myeloma, Chronic lymphocytic leukemia, diabetes, peripheral neuropathy.
For more information about the We Honor Veterans Program, visit the link below or contact your local Grane Hospice location.